May. 2nd, 2007 11:16 am
green_amber: (academic)
OK v Hello! has been decided in the < a href=""> House of Lords (thanks to [ profile] loveandgarbage for the tip-off. THis is the biggest case on privacy/misuse of confidential information in the history of English law. This is NOT, it should be stressed, about whether Michael Douglas and C Zeta-Jones had their privacy invaded at their wedding (that one's been and gone in a shower of legal fees); it is about whether Hello! stole confidential information from OK, the information not being "about" OK, but about the aforesaid starlets. And, according to the HL, yes, they did.

I haven't read it yet but I am heartened by one para that already caught my eye:

"118. It is first necessary to avoid being distracted by the concepts of privacy and personal information. In recent years, English law has adapted the action for breach of confidence to provide a remedy for the unauthorized disclosure of personal information: see Campbell v MGN Ltd [2004] 2 AC 457. This development has been mediated by the analogy of the right to privacy conferred by article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and has required a balancing of that right against the right to freedom of expression conferred by article 10. But this appeal is not concerned with the protection of privacy. Whatever may have been the position of the Douglases, who, as I mentioned, recovered damages for an invasion of their privacy, OK!'s claim is to protect commercially confidential information and nothing more. So your Lordships need not be concerned with Convention rights. OK! has no claim to privacy under article 8 nor can it make a claim which is parasitic upon the Douglases' right to privacy. The fact that the information happens to have been about the personal life of the Douglases is irrelevant. It could have been information about anything that a newspaper was willing to pay for. What matters is that the Douglases, by the way they arranged their wedding, were in a position to impose an obligation of confidence. They were in control of the information."

So we have not recognised , it appears, that X can sell their private life to Y, and Y can use privacy remedies to defend it. This is a good thing. On the other hand, we have it seems created anew form of intellectual property which can be defended against infringement by all comers. Celebrities and their lawyers and the crappy celebrity culture will all be very happy; and that can only be bad.
green_amber: (Default)
One of the reasons why most people I know on LJ, like LJ, is that you can distinguish between your public posts, your Friends posts and your custom posts. I understand most the MySpace type sites, usually aimed at younger audiences, don't support this well; I did find some functions like this when i looked at Facebook but I also understand they were added, not a built in part of the original functionality. And I believe Orkut had a bit of a scandal where they disclosed personal data?

Do any of you use other social spaces that have privacy-control akin to LJ? At one conference, I heard that on Tribe you HAVE to put up a picture of yourself to use it - that's also interesting info (of the opposite kind, natch!)

Getting more geeky, do any of you use a particular search engine, email client, browser, etc. because it gives you more privacy or more control over your personal information? eg does Mozilla /Firefox have advantages over IE in this department? I DON'T really mean general security here - except in the closely defined sense of "stops people bugging/surveilling me".

A quote from Cory to give you the idea..

"If you're a phone company, don't keep logs. …If you're a search company, abandon your cookies. Find the liberty that your competition is too timid to bring to its customers and build it in. And then tell your customers about it: BobNet: the ISP that won't rat you out! PriyaCrawler: a search engine that doesn't log you! Once your customers get wind of the fact that all the features they've dreamt of are possible, cheap, and on offer in the high street, you'll find yourself in a category all your own.”

(Admiss/claimer : yes this is for a paper I'm writing and yes, i could do with the help!! M)


Jan. 30th, 2006 01:04 pm
green_amber: (Default)
Extract from Real Blawg as no one ever comments there and I'd actually really like some help/comments on this one:

Finally, deep into the further reaches of conspiracy theories re privacy and web-bugging we have this interesting comment from the resposnses to the IP article above.

"I don’t have any ads on the site, I do have embedded Flickr pictures. So, here’s a question - is Flickr just a cover for a huge web bug operation used to track visits to sites that have embedded Flickr pictures, or is that being overly paranoid? "

Flickr is a site where users can post photos they've taken and embed them in their web pages - they can then be viewed, uploaded etc by the public (or not as you choose).

In theory it seems plausible that every Flickr image could inded be a web beacon, meaning Flickr could correlate sign up IDs with IP addresses and web sites, as well as patterns of known associates (people who look at your pictures tend to be people who know you).

Anyone like to comment? I must go have a look at the Flickr privacy policy :-)


green_amber: (Default)

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